Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Last night the rain

Last night the rain was different. Weightier, more portentous. It arrived not with the light patter of a dancer's feet, but with the deep sigh of a train pulling into a station. There was the same sense of anticipation fulfilled, of a relief that felt almost like excitement. Standing at the window, I saw the trees bending their backs to the storm's baggage, preparing to be jostled. Fat drops of water clawed at the panes, fell clinking on the airconditioners. A sense of arrival was everywhere.

Back in bed again, I dreamed that the monsoon was a great locomotive, rumbling its way across the land. Gray-haired clouds turned restlessly within it, trying to fit their obese bodies to its sky-blue bunks, playing charades to pass the time.

I too was riding this train. I heard the thunder of its engines, the lazy rattle of its progress. Every now and then the train would stop, sometimes at a village station, sometimes in the middle of a field, and a cloud or two would hop off. There was no timetable to this, but the people must have known because wherever we stopped they were waiting to receive us.

And everywhere we went the children would come out to stare at this strange visitor, half-naked, amazed, wondering how far away it had come from; laughing and pointing, or just standing wide-eyed by the tracks, feeling the power of this apparition rushing down on them. Hearing the wind of it whistle through the fields. Seeing its windows flash like lightning in the night.

And afterwards, in the morning, the air cool, clean like metal. That newly washed sense of distance made possible.

12 comments:

warya said...

but this is lovely, falstaff. many more will tell you so, and you must believe them.

km said...

Delicious.

/locomotives have soul, airplanes are simply large sheets of metal.

confused said...

Falstaff,

Disappointed. This was such a beautiful start and I was settling back, preparing myself to read one of your long self-indugent posts.

Ended too soon. I nevr thought I will ever tell you that you wrote one too short, guess, wrong again.

Jet lag?

drifting leaf said...

oh i love the rain...
if only the rain could read how you wrote about him...he'd come undone...
love it fal...

pseudonym said...

wow! this was totally amazing, a little short but very well done nonetheless. lovely, beautiful. thanks :)

Neha said...

"...Every now and then the train would stop, sometimes at a village station, sometimes in the middle of a field, and a cloud or two would hop off."

Beautiful!

sunbeamz said...

Beautiful!
The kind of rain I love most is the one that comes at the end of an unbearable summer day, with lashings of wind and water and huge light and sound effects.

n said...

"It arrived not with the light patter of a dancer's feet, but with the deep sigh of a train pulling into a station."
Beautiful lines. The rain does its moods doesn't it. And it changes yours with it. Sometimes, it makes you deliriously happy, at others, it makes you think of journeys and endings.
n

The Man Who Wasnt There said...

You seem to be at your descriptive best again...:)
So tell us for the last one year how many times have you thought of going 'professional'?(on the writing front ofcourse...)

Falstaff said...

warya: Thanks

km: thanks. I don't know about airplanes being large sheets of metal though. It depends on who's writing about them.

confused: No, just trying to be more concise.

leaf: Thanks. I never let the rain read what I write though. He always messes up my books.

pseudonym: Thanks

neha: Thanks

sunbeamz: True. It's amazing how you can hear the city sighing in relief.

n: Yes, it does.

the man who wasn't there: Thanks. Never considered it that seriously to be honest. Too lazy.

pseudonym said...

it rained in delhi again last night and i woke up to thunder :))
made me remember your post.

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY!
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